It's not every self-catering cottage which comes with a recommendation from The Times "If you have the dosh, don't bother looking elsewhere." But a quick look at the Bruern Cottages section on Babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk show that this is not ordinary group of cottages. Converted from the Victorian stableyard and outbuildings of Bruern Abbey, Bruern features 12 luxury cottages sleeping from 2 to 10 people.
We stayed in Sandown, which was a two bedroom, two floored cottage in the centre of the yard. The welcome email states confidently that "You don’t need to bring anything with you except your clothes, your friends and your family." So we put them to the test. We turned up with just what we'd bring to a hotel and didn't think we needed anything that first night. From fresh flowers in the living room to a a tea tray made up with fresh cake and biscuits, everything we could have thought of was supplied. There was cereal for breakfast - cleaning products for the kitchen or laundry. Coffee, tea, preserves and bread. And in the fridge was milk, cheese, butter, eggs, orange juice and a very welcome bottle of champagne.
All this was great for the adults in our group, but the children (10 and 11) were much more excited about the indoor pool, playground and playroom. The pool - accessible only with a key fob - was really clean and warm. It did get a little cramped though on a wet Spring half term weekend when everyone decided to descend on it at the same time. Outside the playground features two huge playhouses filled with toys, not to mention bikes for children and adults too. The playroom had a widescreen TV as well as table tennis, snooker and a very well stocked DVD library for both children and adults.
Bruern is superbly well equipped for families with children of all ages. Those with younger children will like the fact that they're supplied with high chairs, cots, fire guards and sterilisers if needed. You can also request a 'Parents Piece of Mind' kit with baby monitors, plug covers, digital thermometers, door wedges, bed guards, cupboard locks, stairgates and plastic crockery and cutlery. The pool was also equipped with swim nappies and the play cagin and wendy house were stuffed with toys. If you want a bit of time to yourself, daytime childcare or babysitters can be arranged.
In terms of location - if you're a foodie, you'll be very happy. There are numerous well regarded gastropubs within walking distance or a 5 minute car ride and you're just 10 minutes from Daylesford with its food shop, restaurant, cookery school and spa. There's also the Cotswold Outdoor Park with zoo nearby. But the quiet hamlet of Bruern and all the facilities on site mean you can actually just leave the car and enjoy everything on your doorstep.
Mumsnet stayed here as a guest of Babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk